Johannesburg - The parliamentary portfolio committee on
communications and a labour union have called for criminal charges to be
pressed against a senior executive of the South African Post Office (Sapo) who
has resigned amid a R425m tender lease scandal.
Sapo’s chief operating officer John Wentzel has quit the
parastatal at a time when there are still unanswered questions relating to the
lease contract awarded to commercial property developing firm M&T without
proper tender regulations being followed.
Sikhumbuzo Kholwane, the chairperson of Parliament’s
communications portfolio committee, said: “The board must also take action
against the chief executive (Motshoanetse Lefoka).
“Sapo must tell us if he (Wentzel) is going to receive a
golden handshake or if he is going to walk away empty handed like in most
“We also want to know if criminal charges are going to be
laid. People must not mess up and then resign. They were appointed to perform
Sapo had not replied to questions sent by City Press by the
time of going to press. The Department of Communications, which oversees the
mailing and banking parastatal, had also not responded.
This week, Wentzel - who was also acting as the managing
director of Post Bank - confirmed his career at Sapo was over.
“I have not been dismissed. I have reached an amicable
settlement with the board and will leave the company at the end of October,”
said Wentzel in an SMS response.
“The terms of the settlement are confidential. Please note
that this will be the only comment from me and City Press must not contact me
again,” he said.
In July, City Press revealed how Treasury regulations were
flouted when the R425m contract was awarded to M&T without the tender being
The contract involved the moving of the Post Office
headquarters from Tshwane to the Eco Park Estate in Centurion.
Tutu Mokoena, the spokesperson of the South African Postal
Workers Union, this week questioned why the parastatal had accepted Wentzel’s
resignation without pressing criminal charges against him.
“When a teller is accused of stealing R200, Sapo immediately
presses criminal charges against the accused,” said Mokoena.
“But when it is an executive, the police are not called in
to resolve the matter,” he said.
It was still unclear what fate awaited Lefoka and Sapo head
of strategy Marietjie Lancaster, who both faced a disciplinary process for
their involvement in the tender scandal.
However, the Communication Workers Union released a
statement claiming that Lefoka had been suspended.
The union’s spokesperson Matankane Mothapo urged Sapo to
release findings of an investigation it conducted on the lease deal.
“Sapo must release the report into the public domain as a
matter of extreme urgency to expose those who were involved in this game of
looting public resources.
“We will persistently enquire regarding this report as we
believe that none of the two senior executives (Wentzel and Lefoka) should be
allowed to get off scot-free,” Mothapo said.